A judge sentenced a Portland man Monday to serve 6½ years in prison for a fatal shooting in Bayside in 2018.

Tyrese Collins, now 20, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in September. The full sentence was 10 years, but Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren suspended a portion during a hearing Monday at the Cumberland County Courthouse.

The maximum penalty for manslaughter is 30 years in prison, but the attorneys had agreed on a cap of 15 years as part of the plea agreement. The judge ultimately decided on a lower penalty .

“The seriousness of this crime, the fact that it was so unnecessary and the amount of suffering, weigh that against Mr. Collins’ right to have a chance at rehabilitation, his potential for rehabilitation and the fact that he is starting with having the cards stacked against him that hopefully he can overcome, I think that all but 6½ years should be suspended,” Warren said.

Collins was initially charged with murder in the death of Jack Wilson. Police said Collins shot Wilson, 45, during a June 2018 argument at an intersection near the Oxford Street Shelter in Portland. The incident was one of several violent crimes in the neighborhood that summer that prompted increased police patrols.

Wilson was staying at the Oxford Street Shelter at the time of the fatal shooting. Other clients said he worked hard at his job and did not get into conflicts. One woman described a tender relationship between Wilson and his girlfriend.

The victim’s family has not spoken publicly about him, and the prosecutor said Monday they were very unhappy with the plea agreement. Assistant Attorney General Bud Ellis said Wilson’s parents and brothers followed the case, but chose not to attend or speak at the sentencing.

“I can tell you they were greatly impacted by the loss of their son and sibling,” Ellis said.

Collins sat quietly through the hearing. At one point, he read a brief statement of apology to the victim’s family and to his own.

“I accept full responsibility for the senseless act and blame no one but myself,” he said. “I want all the people in this courtroom here today to know that I am very sorry.”

Ellis asked the judge to sentence Collins to 15 years in prison, with all but 10 years suspended. He said Collins joined a confrontation between Wilson and another man. One witness told police Wilson had pulled out a knife and threatened to stab the other man, but the prosecutor has also said others who ran from the scene were never identified and did not come forward. At one point, Collins went to his car and returned with a handgun. A nearby security camera captured part of the argument, but not the shooting itself.

“He’s the one who stirred the pot,” Ellis said of Collins. “He’s the one who escalated this situation. He’s the one who introduced a handgun.”

The prosecutor also told the judge that Wilson suffered significantly at the end of his life because of the gunshot wound that ultimately killed him. Medical providers conducted multiple surgeries and even amputated both of the man’s legs as part of their efforts to save him.

The defense team asked the judge for a sentence of six years, with all but four suspended. Attorney Erik Paulson said Wilson was not a “passive bystander,” emphasizing the knife he carried and his blood-alcohol concentration at the time of his death. He also emphasized that Collins was 19 years old at the time of the shooting, and he had not yet developed the impulse control of an adult. He described a chaotic upbringing and asked the judge to consider the impact that incarceration could have on Collins during formative years of his development.

“We risk the prospect of institutionalizing someone who is going to become dependent on the (Maine Department of Corrections) if he doesn’t gain the personal skills that will make him a productive citizen in society,” Paulson said.

Susan Collins, who was introduced as the mother who raised the defendant, called Collins an athlete and “a beautiful child.” She said she has already begun researching his college and job prospects upon release from prison.

The judge took a recess for nearly an hour before announcing his sentence. When he returned to the bench, Warren spoke in particular about a forensic report submitted by the defense, which indicated Collins did not have the tools he needed to manage anger issues and other psychological challenges during his life. The judge pledged to share that report with the state Department of Corrections and flag Collins for placement in a facility where he can get the resources he needs for rehabilitation.

“In short, at the time of the allegations, Mr. Collins was still functioning as a juvenile, so he needs a lot of skills in order to cope with the demands of society and adult life,” the judge said.

Still, the judge acknowledged the loss suffered by Wilson’s family and friends, and he said he could not grant the defense’s request for an even lower penalty.

“I couldn’t go lower than I’m going without ignoring the seriousness of this offense,” Warren said.

Collins has been held at Cumberland County Jail without bail for more than a year. He will get credit for time served, and he will also pay restitution and serve four years on probation. He had a limited criminal history, but he was out on bail for a felony aggravated assault charge at the time he killed Wilson. During Monday’s hearing, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in that crime and received a sentence of 364 days in jail, which he has already served while awaiting the outcome of the shooting case.

Outside the courtroom, Susan Collins said she sympathizes with the family of the victim but will support her son as he tries to move forward with his life.

“Tyrese will find himself,” she said. “If he gets the right help when he’s in, he’ll be successful when he comes out.”

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